New York Times unexpectedly replaces top editor Abramson

Thu May 15, 2014 2:20am EDT
 
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By Jennifer Saba

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times Co on Wednesday abruptly ousted the newspaper's top editor, Jill Abramson, after less than three years in the job and named managing editor Dean Baquet to replace her.

Baquet, 57, a Pulitzer prize-winning reporter and former editor of the Los Angeles Times, becomes the paper's first African-American editor.

Abramson, 60, became the Times' first woman executive editor in 2011.

The shakeup is the latest sign of turmoil at the New York Times Co, which is controlled by the Ochs-Sulzberger family. It has been selling assets, cutting staff and looking for new revenue sources as print advertising revenue declines.

While its shares have stabilized and its latest quarterly earnings exceeded expectations, the Times' business model, like that of other newspapers, remains under pressure. Abramson's departure is the latest sign of upheaval in the management of the paper and its publisher.

Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr abruptly ousted Janet Robinson as chief executive officer three months after Abramson was given the top job as editor. Robinson, who received a $24 million pay package, was replaced by Mark Thompson, the former director general of the BBC.

Sulzberger told stunned staff members on Wednesday the appointment of Baquet "would improve some aspects of the management of the newsroom," according to his remarks obtained by Reuters.

He did not elaborate on what those issues were but said they did not relate to the direction of the journalism or the paper's digital future.   Continued...

 
Jill Abramson, executive editor of The New York Times, arrives for the State Dinner held for French President Francois Hollande at the White House in Washington February 11, 2014. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts